Colleges must require training that fights antisemitism

University Presidents Urged to Address Antisemitism on Campus

Last week, three university presidents faced tough questions from Congress about their lack of action on campus antisemitism. This came at a time when there has been a significant increase in antisemitic incidents on college campuses. Since Hamas’ Oct. 7 terrorist attack on Israel, such incidents have risen by 700%. According to reports, 73% of college students have either witnessed or experienced antisemitism on their campus this academic year.

One faculty member from DePaul University in Chicago discussed how the campus has seen an increase in antisemitic acts in recent times. For example, complaints were filed over flyers spreading unproven accusations of mass murder, as well as rallies where participants chanted slogans calling for the elimination of Israel and Jews.

In light of the alarming rise in antisemitism at colleges and universities, there has been a call for institutions to mandate anti-antisemitism training. This training is seen as necessary to address the existing structural antisemitism in academia.

Although many colleges require diversity training for faculty and staff, these programs often fail to include antisemitism in their curriculum. An ADL survey found that only 18.1% of college students reported having any anti-antisemitism training. This is due in part to federal laws such as Titles VI and IX, which did not include religious categories when they were enacted. However, in May, the U.S. Department of Education released an antisemitism awareness campaign, and the federal government has explicitly called on colleges and universities to address antisemitism in higher education.

The article notes that some existing DEI trainings across the country have been criticized for their anti-Jewish positions. Despite efforts from faculty members to advocate for adding antisemitism to mandatory trainings, these appeals have mostly been dismissed.

The author, a professor at DePaul University and the founder of the Jewish Faculty-Staff Alliance, emphasized the need to expand DEI trainings to include antisemitism. They highlighted the importance of protecting Jewish students and the ethical obligation of faculty to speak out against structural antisemitism.

In conclusion, the article calls for anti-antisemitism training to be taught at all colleges and universities, stating that it is time for change in how antisemitism is addressed on campus.

Historically, antisemitism has deep roots and has manifested in various forms, including discrimination, violence, and systemic bias against Jewish people. This has been an ongoing issue in many societies, and the recent increase in antisemitic incidents on college campuses underscores the urgent need for comprehensive action to address this problem.

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